Stories of Change
Chickens mean a brighter new chapter for Keleni and her children
Feeding her family is a big job for Keleni Ruseba Samwel. At just 32 years old, she’s a widow and a mother of seven. Like most of her neighbors in rural Tanzania, Keleni is a farmer. She relies on her land and harvests to put food on the table and earn an income.
Recently, though, Keleni’s harvests have been worse than usual. They aren’t enough to cover her family’s needs, so she and her children end up going hungry. “The biggest challenge that my family and I are facing is not having a reliable income to meet our essential needs, since I am a widow with seven children to raise,” she says.
Recently, however, Keleni joined a new CWS program in this part of Tanzania. More than 1,000 farmers from seven wards are now participating in this program, which is focused on sweet potato farming and raising livestock. Every farmer received information and support for growing sweet potatoes, plus support to raise one type of livestock. Most of the farmers, including Keleni, are focusing on raising chickens. Chickens are a great source of both nutrition and income, since families can eat eggs and meat and sell eggs and chicks in local markets.
Keleni joined workshops about how to keep chickens safe and healthy. She learned about building chicken coops that protect her flock from predators. She also learned how to prevent disease transmission among her chickens. Then she received three chickens of her own to start her flock. “The biggest challenge I was facing is a lack of knowledge and skills on how to raise chickens, but now I’ve certainly learned the best ways of keeping them,” she says.
Soon, Keleni expects to establish a poultry production business that will earn enough income for her to cover her family’s essential needs. “After the CWS training, I believe poultry can help me increase my income and solve the income challenges that I am facing,” she reflects.